18 November 2019
This tiny game of rival mountaineers attempts to satisfy both camps and, for the most part, it does a pretty good job.
Push-your-luck games can be divisive. Some players love their blend of tension, frustration and elation. Others can’t stand their reliance on random chance over planning and strategy. This tiny game of rival mountaineers attempts to satisfy both camps and, for the most part, it does a pretty good job.
You and your friends take control of parties of climbers, aiming to be the first to reach the top of an imposing, snow-covered peak. On your turn you’ll roll and re-roll a handful of dice, aiming to score mountain symbols to ascend towards the summit, and avoid danger icons that can send your lead mountaineer tumbling down the treacherous slopes.
It’s similar to the fan-favourite Zombie Dice, but with a board-based track for players to race along. What stands out about High Risk, though, is the way it lets players control the amount of danger they’re willing to expose their adventurers to. When a climber falls, they come to rest below the next-highest member of their team. It means you’ll need to decide whether to rush individual meeples towards the top of the track, risking them falling all the way to the bottom, or move in a more careful, consolidated group, reducing the effect of accidents, but potentially allowing more courageous and/or reckless players to zip ahead of you.
It’s not complicated, but it comes with just a smidgen more to think about than similar releases, and it’s an attractive family game or entrée before something meatier on game night.
PLAY IT? PROBABLY
Designer: Trevor Benjamin, Brett J. Gilbert
This review originally appeared in the July 2019 issue of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.